Friday, December 15, 2006

Phi Phi Island

Went to Phi Phi island tour today. Cost me RM140.00 for the full day tour. It was worth it I think. Much better than the TAR marine park islands in Kota Kinabalu. For this tour, we went to two snorkeling places and 3 beautiful beaches including that of Maya beach; made famous from Leo DiCaprio's the beach movie. But sadly, I don't have my camera with me. The wife took it first. And this trip was not even planned. More later, now off to Thai Kickboxing match.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Here I am in a small internet care in Krabi, South Thai. A bit more south than Phuket about 4 hours drive from Hat Yai. How did I end up here alone, out of place among the farangs (westerners) is quite simple actually. Got a few days leave to blow off and since I was in Penang for work trip, and the wife is in Hong Kong for two weeks with her mother visiting relatives there. I thought a beach excursion might be good. And been wanting to come here for sometime already. So now the chance.

After a 5 hours minivan drive from Penang to Hat Yai (RM25) and another 4 hours to here (RM25 also), I end up at the physical office of Ms. Patty from She was helpful; got me a room with fan for RM30 per night. And tomorrow to Phi Phi island tour and dead tired now. So, sweet dreams.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A lesson in life ...

I don't know who said it first or where I got it from, but here goes ...

"Borrow money from pessimists - They don't expect it back."

Friday, November 24, 2006

An easy thing to do ...

A while back, I received e-mail mocking the Indonesian group Dewa and how its lead, Ahmad Dhani is of jewish heritage and all those stuff (as if being a Jew is bad, we forget how many great prophets are Jewish, being zionist is a different matter altogether). That kind of e-mail I only scan thorough and don't remember much details since I feel that there's malicious intent on the author instead of trying to do good.

And today I came across this article about Ahmad Dhani. Well, well, seems our friend is going places. Good for you brother and may you always be under our Master's guidance and our Lord's blessings. Free ticket ada ka?

Back to the e-mail, I can't just imagine the faces below as bad people, if anything, we want to be like moth to a flame and perish within their light ...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Nice to see such a face again

It is sooooo nice to see Shaykh Adnan's face once again. I heard he came to KL sometime during Ramadan and left yesterday.

I think I've mentioned before that I'm not a good Muslim at all. Just in case you might think otherwise (by seeing such a photo here), I do break a few ten commandments on a daily basis and not a regular on some Rukun Islam.

That apart, some aspect of my life was at the lowest low few weeks ealier and I was so much in despair that I'm ready to throw some of it away. Orang kata, kalau ikut rasa ... binasa. Had I followed my emotion, years from now friends would bump into me and take a pity that I've become a zombie and clueless in life.

And thank God for people like Shaykh Adnan! Somebody hosted him for a dinner in Tropicana last Saturday and I went there. He arrived around 9:00 pm, we prayed Isha' behind him, short zikir & sohbet afterward. And dinner with lamb, chicken, & beef. A good dinner it was; buat muka tebal and tambah dua kali.

The difference between people like Shaykh Adnan and others is that, by just being in their presence, we feel a certain aura and charisma about them. And dare I say, a certain peace comes to our troubled heart. I don't know how to put it in words but it was as if all those rough & troubled emotions in the heart are slowly being made beautiful once again.

And life has become its usual self. Thank you Sir.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Further Thoughts on the way to Work

Still on the subject of guidance, teaching, I remember our Malay peribahasa:

Kalau melentur buluh,
biarlah dari rebungnya.

And also the African proverb:

It takes the whole village to educate a child.

But how do we teach a virtue to somebody. I remember vaguely reading one of Idries Shah about a Sufi Master taking his murids on a journey and show them various examples of people persevering in their pursuits. The idea is for the murids to learn what perseverance means and keep the discipline in their own struggles. Listening about perseverance and seeing it in action is certaily two diffrent things.

We can’t just tell people to behave and everything will be fine and dandy after that. I believe this is so because within our own self, within this person that we call, for example sake, Fateh, there are various faculties at work. There are the egos, desires that try to go one way and the soul, the heart that wanna go the other way. Throughout human history, we could see this in the Yin/Yang, various facets of the Hindu gods, and even in the id, ego, super-ego of Freud. There’s a good introduction about this in a book called, appropriately, Book of Sufi Healing by Hakim Chisti.

In my own case, despite her temper, my grandma is one generous person. Whenever we go to visit some relatives, close or near, she will always bring a simple gift. Befitted orang kampung like her, the gift could be a few cans of condesed milk or a few kilos of sugar; and if she’s financially constrained, biscuits will do. And I hope to emulate her in that sense. If anything, charity is a good deed and could take away difficulties from us. May we do this more and more everyday. Aminnnn.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Indian Bird

One thing I'm grateful in life that, though from a simple family, I grew up to like reading. The passion did not fully blossomed till I was in college but the seed was planted much earlier. Perhaps being big (a more humane way of saying that I'm fat), I did not have much choice. Football certainly out of the window. And reading engineering stuff in college was not that much fun. And I'm much more grateful that I like reading Idries Shah and his Sufi books. Somehow, may be because I grew up poor, I am not the type to quicky judge a person or a situation. This came in handy since reading Idries Shah, some of the things said are certainly way over my head. But in time, I come to understand a bit.

So, the story today is from Idries Shah's The Way of the Sufi. It is one of the few stories that for unknown reason, I really like. Hopefully you will enjoy it too. In the book, Shah wrote that the story is from Maulana Rumi.

The Indian Bird

A merchant had a bird in a cage. He was going to India, the land from which the bird came, and asked him whether he could bring anything back for him. The bird asked for his freedom, but was refused. So he asked the merchant to visit a jungle in India and announce his captivity to the free birds who were there.

The merchant did so, and no sooner had he spoken than a wild bird, just like his own, fell senseless out of a tree on to the ground. The merchant thought that this must be a relative of his own bird, and felt sad that he should have caused this death.

When he got home, the bird asked him whether he had brought good news from India. ‘No,’ said the merchant, ‘I fear that my news is bad. One of your relations collapsed and fell at my feet as soon as I mentioned your captivity.'

As soon as these words were spoken, the merchant's bird collapsed and fell to the bottom of the cage.

‘The news of his kinsman's death has killed him too,' thought the merchant. Sorrowfully he picked up the bird and put it on the window-sill. At once the bird revived and flew, to a near by tree. ‘Now you know,’ he said, ‘that what you thought was disaster was in fact good news for me. And how, the message, the suggestion how to behave in order to free myself, was transmitted to me through you, my captor.'

And he flew away, free at last.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Nasrudin's Frog Experiment

From I'll try to copy some of my favorite stories from Idries Shah books once I've time. Meanwhile:

Nasrudin trained a frog to hop everytime he said "Jump!".Then, for reasons known only to himself, he surgically removed the frog's lefthind leg."Jump!" he cried. The frog jumped. Veered badly to the left, but it jumped.
Nasrudin wrote in his journal: "Left hind leg removed; frog still jumps."And then he removed the frog's left fore leg."Jump!" he cried. The frog jumped. Almost rolled over on it's back, but itjumped.
He wrote in his journal: "Both left legs removed; frog still jumps."And then he removed the frog's right fore leg."Jump!" he cried. The frog jumped. Actually it was more of a 'scoot', but itjumped.
He wrote in his journal: "All but right hind leg removed; frog still jumps."And the he removed the frog's right hind leg."Jump!" he cried. Nothing."Jump!" he cried. The frog twitched a little, but just sat there."Jump!" he cried. The frog just looked at him pitifully.
Nasrudin wrote in his journal: "All legs removed; frog has gone deaf."

Friday, July 14, 2006

Greek Proverb

Was browsing and intrigue by this Greek proverb:

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade, they know they shall never sit in”.
May we have lots of those men and women.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Black Magic in Malay Society

Just a rambling off my head and not meant to be an academic study. What prompted me was something that happenned to my mom few weeks ago. After a few visit to the doctor and not seeing an improvement, coupled with strange finding of several nails tucked neatly into a papaya tree in front of our house, grandma old school intuition wanted to try different avenues. After a few visits to several experts in the area, one of which head of top 'pondok'/madrasah in Kelantan, grandma's intuition seems correct.

We hope we could be among those who would be happy with our Lord in any situation. Shaykh Nazim taught to say 'syukurillah' (sp?) when something good happens and to say 'alhamdulillah' when in difficulty. Which to be honest, when I first heard it, it sounded strange to my Malay psyche upbringing; until I heard on IKIM radio something that suggests a similar manner.

But what I want to write is more about the usage of black magic or 'sihir' in our society. What happenned was, when we visited a particular healer/'bomoh' back home, it struck me that in the short span I was there, about 5 other people was seeking her service. And most of the cars are registered outside Kelantan! Now, forget about ntv7, this is a real 'fear factor'.

And from talking to several friends about this, it seems that sihir is quite prevalent. One friend who works in banking industry, is frequenting the famous Darul Shifa now for what thought to be a 'santau'. Another, a business owner in construction industry, told several scary stories about his friends who'd been had.

I thought 'wow', the only thing we can do is to turn to Him; Helper for those who are helpless, Pillar for those who has no pillars, and Guide for those who has no guidance.

And on this blessed Friday and 2nd last day of Rabiul Awal this year, may our Lord increase our love for His most beloved servant, place us among the Righteous here and hereafter, and place us in safety. Salawat & Fatihah. Amin.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Note to Myself 1

Dear Self,

If you happen to go to any celebration for Mawlid, Bercukur Rambut, etc. please don't place the 'bunga rampai' (spelling?) together with your asthma inhaler. If you do, everytime you use the inhaler after that, you will also inhale the bunga rampai smell. It just does not feel right.

Photo of Mawlid in Janda Baik, Pahang last Tuesday.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Imagine if you will ...

Imagine if you will, a 30-something Malay male sitting in front of an elder in a living room somewhere in KL. The young man could sport a nice hair cut, slightly on the big size (either life has been good to him or he’s not watching his diet), casually dressed and not too sharp; and a small goatee on the chin.

Clearly the young man is spiritually inclined; though he does not seem too religious. The elder can be any venerable elder who has gone thru the good and the bad in life; somebody who's not only knowledgeable but also wise (there's distinction between the two you know).

So the young man asked, “when I look at my life, it seems that whenever I have good intention to do something, somehow I can't do it. It seems that there's bad energy or jinn or shaitan trying to pull me away. What can I do sir? May be certain Quranic practice I should do. Your guidance is much welcomed”.

After a deep breath, the elder said, “well son, there's no jinn trying to divert you, you are just one lazy son of a bitch”.

And with that, they both took a sip of the still hot Ahmad Tea (London) brought earlier.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

An interesting read.

Wish that I would have some means in the future to travel the world and partake its blessings.

You may check this site to see if the Habibs is visiting Malaysia.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A good 'adab'

I happen to be in Balikpapan, Kalimantan Timur last Chinese New Year and saw a good adab in a mosque there.

A few days I was there, I went to this mosque in front of the hotel only once for Fajr and after the prayer, zikir and all, everybody stand up for 'salam'.

In most mosques in Malaysia, the act of salam, while prominence is given to the imam, is still done in a random manner. Such as, if one is a bit far from the imam, one would 'bersalam' with those nearer first before going to the imam.

However there, at least in that mosque, everybody would que to salam with the imam first and those who did their salam, would stay put next to the imam and thus create a circle so that in the end, everybody would salam with everybody else. And while doing that, salawat would be recited out loud.

It was such a lovely setting that I would not doubt creates a much more brotherhood atmoshpere.

While I do not know the Malaysian scene in general, I know that the same adab is practiced by some here.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Bangkok II

One thing I guess that the Thais are different from other ASEAN nations is that they do and show their respect for their king. It was the king’s birthday when I was there last year and everywhere you could see the king’s pictures. A few cab drivers I talked to invariably loved their king whereas not all like the prime minister.

In front of the hotel entrance, they placed a big size photo of the king, perhaps A2 size, and they decorate around the area. Next to the entrance, there’s one convenience shop and once, I saw a man getting there and before he went to the shop, he placed his hands together and showed his respect to the king in front of his photo.

And this is our lives. Not all men are created equal. That’s one thing I find it difficult to reconcile with ‘democracy’. Democracy gives all eligible men and women equal amount of power, i.e vote. Be honest here, not everybody is bright and cheerful. Some are not too clever and can be manipulated easily. The liberals would say, if we don’t give equal rights to everyone, then who’s to decide what is right or wrong. It can’t be placed in a few hands. And as I said before, even if the right is placed in everybody’s hand, it won’t be fine and dandy.

Though I’m not inclining towards return to Kingship, I just hope that the world would be a better place. And I guess I have to start with me. Allah Hu, Allah Haq.

Friday, February 03, 2006

A tale of two Doa

I'm a bad, bad man. Last Eid-ul Adha, while the imam was saying the doa after the khutbah, I was thinking about another doa that I just heard on a mawlid vcd.

You see, the Eid doa was in my kampung in Kelantan and the other doa, I supposed was in Yemen since Habib Umar was in the mawlid.

If I remember correctly, the Eid doa was like this, among others:

"... Ya Allah, destroy our enemies and failed their plans against us ..."

While Habib Umar's was:

"... Ya Allah, bring those who are astray back to the right path ..."

Of course, this is not a judgement on one person against the other. By any accounts, I'm nothing at all compared to the Eid Imam.

The thing is, given two choices, with whose company do we rather be. And whose guidance would have more lasting impact on our soul. I believe the answer is as clear as daylight.

Though it might be difficult to find such a person among us, I'm sure our good Lord grant to those who asked. Knocked, and the door shall be open.

And here's one advice by Habib Umar: